How to integrate checkout into your website: choosing the best option

Dmytro Dziubenko

Chief Technology Officer at Corefy


During this year, the total transaction value for Digital Payments segment globally is expected to reach almost $5 trillion. According to the forecast, the number will be growing 12% annually in the coming years.

In e-commerce worldwide, digital and mobile wallets account for a staggering 42%, followed by credit and debit cards with a 35% share, Worldpay reveals. Cash on delivery is far behind, reaching just a 4,5% share.

The statistics prove that accepting payments online and through as many methods as possible should be a top priority to make your business future-proof.

It may seem a tough task, but payment service providers are interested in getting you on board and helping you on your transition. When you’ve already decided on which provider or payment platform you’d like to connect, the next step is choosing the most suitable option of checkout integration.

Checkout is a solution enabling customers to pay on a merchant’s website. It can be one-page or multipage, and a customer is supposed to fill the required fields to make a successful transaction and submit the order.

Checkout integration options overview

how to integrate checkout

Checkout is a solution enabling customers to pay on a merchant’s website. Source:

There are two basic kinds of integration options: hosted and self-hosted.

Hosted checkout

In the first case, your customers will be redirected to a checkout page hosted by your provider. It means that you hand over the control of the entire checkout process to a company hosting your checkout.


➕ quick and simple integration;
➕ no or minimal development efforts needed on your side;
➕ you don’t have to worry about compliance;
➕ you receive a ready-made solution to start accepting payments right away.


➖ the company that hosts your checkout is responsible for every step of the checkout process. It stores your customers’ payment information. That’s why it’s better to think twice when choosing a payment partner. Make sure you’re dealing with a certified, trustworthy, and well-established company.

There are several kinds of integration options for a hosted checkout:

  • Flash (Modal) — checkout is shown as a layer over your website. All content is displayed in the modal window, and your website’s content maintains in the background. It has a unique URL, but your website’s web address remains unchanged. You might need a bit of a developer’s help to integrate a modal window.
  • Embedded (iframe) — checkout is inserted to your website as an iframe. A skilled developer will quickly handle it. With an iframe, a customer never leaves your website to complete a purchase. Even though they are redirected to a hosted checkout, all content is displayed within your website.
  • Pay-by-link (redirect) — send your customer a payment link, taking them to hosted checkout for payment. This option requires no development effort, as you’re provided with a ready-to-use payment page. Many providers allow basic customisation, like adding your brand name, logo, and picking a background colour. You can accept payments even having no website at all, by sending payment links directly to customers. Moreover, you can generate payment QR codes, which will make the checkout process simpler for customers.

Self-hosted checkout

Self-hosted integration options are the first choice for large and well-established businesses, having their own development teams and PCI compliance certificates.


➕ you’re in full control of your checkout process;
➕ the look and feel of your checkout is totally up to you;
➕ you can think through and create the smoothest experience for a customer;
➕ you can remake your checkout anytime you feel the need to do so.


➖ development and maintaining require substantial resources;
➖ you have to grant complete and unconditional security of customers’ data.

  • Self-hosted (API) — go for complete API integration to create the checkout workflow as per your business requirements and handle the checkout process on your servers. Customers will complete every step of their journey on your website.

If you decide to handle payments on your own, there’s still a way for you to bypass the need for PCI certification. You can redirect all card transactions to the payment partner while covering alternative payment methods on your side. For instance, no PCI compliance hassles will be on your way if you want to develop your own crypto checkout.

  • Components (elements) — build your own checkout using web components offered by the provider. Your developers can customise and configure checkout created with components the way you need.

How to choose the integration type

checkout integration

Choose the most suitable option of checkout integration. Source:

Now that you have a general idea of all the checkout integration options, you’re ready to decide which one works best for you. The table below will help you to compare them and consider the pros and cons.

Integration option Development effort PCI compliance Customer experience
Flash | Modal Minimal required Handled by provider Customers remain on your website and enter data into a modal window. Data goes to the provider
Embedded | Iframe Minimal required Handled by provider Customers remain on your website and enter data into an iframe. Data goes to the provider
Pay-by-link | Redirect Not required Handled by provider Customers go to a separate web page designed by the provider and with its own web address
Components | Elements Required You need to be PCI compliant for card payments processing Customers remain on your website, you store the details
Self-hosted | API Required You need to be PCI compliant for card payments processing Customers remain on your website, you store the details

As a CTO at Corefy, Dmytro Dziubenko focuses on providing scalable and unified online payment processing technologies opening up opportunities for online businesses to innovate the entire way e-commerce operates.


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